Short Man Tall Man, What Do You Say

This was a comical picture.

Almost like from Dr. Seuss.

Short man and tall man.

Actually a whole step taller.

Guy on the left, little stubby legs.

One on the right, long long legs.

When you’re on a ladder, I guess it doesn’t matter.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

@Eastern State Penitentiary

Photos are from my tour of Eastern Penitentiary in Philadelphia. 

The prison cells were in these tomb thick concrete structures, freezing cold, and completely claustrophobic!

You have to stoop through a tiny doorway to get in and out. 

The cell with the car in it shows how small these prison cells were.  

There is a photo of a cell with a stinking toilet and also the one with a barbers chair. 

Then there is the picture of the fancy cell which is that of Al Capone’s (right after the regular disgusting cell). Pretty sure Capone had some real pull with the warden and guards, and I’m sure they were afraid to cross him.

There was even a synagogue in this frightful gothic-style prison with a light that says Shalom (peace).

One cell had art painted on the walls and had many of these dreamy-looking women in Island type spots so far away from the reality of these horrible prison conditions. 

It was also interesting the the prisoners inside these walls were I’m sure dying to get out, and yet the visitors to the prison were lined up at the ticket booth to get a glimpse inside. 

The whole experience was so full of juxtaposing contrasts. 

I feel like I learned a lot. Overall, a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here! 😉

(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal)

X Marks The Spot With A Dot Dot Dot

Dots.jpeg

Love this exhibit by Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, at the Hirshhorn Museum. 


Unfortunately, they were out of passes for this special showing, so I could only grab a quick photo or two. 


But I was amazed at how splashes of dots and color can make such am amazing impact on a room. 


Futuristic and yet surreal. 


Everything in the room–walls, floor, chairs, tables, fixtures, and ornaments–had the design elements on them. 


The only thing that didn’t were the people checking it out and what a contrast that was. 


It felt like being in the fantasy world of Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory or something amazing like that. 


It is no surprise that people were lining up out the doors for tickets to this exhibit. 


What an spectacular vision for the world–so happy, so magical and so wow beautiful! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Cherry Blossom Sky

lorful

Cherry Blossom

What beautiful weather we are having this time of year.


Just loved this gorgeous Cherry Blossom tree with the white leaves against the pale blue sky. 


Almost looks like snow flakes, but thank G-d those are gone now. 


All this nature is sort of the opposite of work, but on my mind is this quote that I heard this week:

_____________

“Plan the work

AND

Work the plan”

_____________


It’s simple, but gets right to the point of the necessity of planning and then executing on the plan.


I like the gorgeous nature and this smart saying.  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Cup Runneth Over

Fountain

I took this photo today in Washington, D.C. near the Capital. 


It’s a really nice fountain…actually 3 double-fountains in a row. 


The top fountains run over into the bottom ones, which in turn runs over into the larger pool basin at the bottom. 


I like the contrast between the grey and white stone, the gold fountain, and the pewter basin with the water overflowing between them. 


As the water (a symbolism of life) continues unabated to run over in the fountain, so too, I pray that our good fortune is abundant and overflowing, and that we have more than we than enough for our needs, and plenty extra to share with others. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Wild Advertising Art

Bus Art

I took this photo of an ad for Milagro Tequila on the side of a tour bus in Washington, D.C.


Milagro (“Miracle”) is a company that prides itself on it’s collaboration with artists to create cool murals to advertise it’s liquor. 


Tequila is made from the sweet, fruity, blue agave plant from northwest Mexico, hence the writing over the mural saying, “Agave Expressionism.”


It must be challenging to look out the windows of this tour bus covered in this very blue mural and messaging. 


Why is this ad effective? 


First, it is intense and exciting–the vibrant colors, the big mask with the bulging eyes, and the skulls with the green leafy stuff growing out of the head. 


Second, it really is a work of art, and you wouldn’t expect to see this on a regular tour bus shlepping around town. 


Third, the cultural contrast between the Mexican artistic expressionism and the rest of the comparatively humdrum city life is standout. 


Fourth, after a long hard day at work, people are tired, thirsty, and ready for some fun–so this is a welcome message.


Overall, this has the creativity and connection with the people to hit the mark–pretty neat. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Art In The Trees

Art in Tree

Today, just sharing a photo that I took and liked. 


This is art in the trees.


A Renaissance child in gorgeous red and gold robes on an expansive scroll in the lush green trees is marvelous to me. 


Also, the contrast of the heavenly creation of the world and nature alongside the man-made art affirms to me how we, ourselves, are made in the image of G-d, and can contribute to the beauty of the world we live in. 


I hope you this like it too! 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

The Cello And The Horse

Cello and Horse
So this was a funny picture I took today at Foggy Bottom. 



This guy in a shirt and tie is playing this awesome looking cello…



And sitting next to him is this other guy wearing a horse mask, rolling his head, and staring intently at the people passing by. 



Behind them is a farmers market and in front to the left is someone selling beautiful flowers. 



Overall, just another weird scene in the Nation’s capital.



Next up, the guy in the horse head plays the cello and everyone sings along and neighs. 😉



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Black and White and Gray All Over

Black and White and Gray All Over

My trip to South Florida this week was full of juxtapositions and lessons for me as a person:

1) Attention and Inattention—There were 2 father-son pairs in this gorgeous infinity pool at the resort. One father and son (age maybe 3) were together—jumping, splashing, swimming, holding each other—it was really beautiful. The other father and son (maybe 4) in contrast had the kid standing alone in the pool trying clumsily to pull a pair of goggles over his face, while his inattentive father stood off to the side glued on his smartphone. The first kid was smiling ear-to-ear under the attentive and adoring eyes of his father, the second kid was clearly rejected and dejected.

2) Beach and Poverty—I visited the beach in Hollywood; we were told it had a great little boardwalk. When we got there at first, it seemed awesome with the sun and palm trees, music, eateries, skaters, and bicyclists, and more. But as we started walking and exploring, it quickly became apparent that this was the poor side of town. There were no high-rises here, no fancy cars, no eloquent shops, and sort of a menacing feeling overall. The contrast of the beautiful beach and boardwalk with the surrounding poverty left me feeling sort of confused about wanting to be there, but also wanting to leave.

3) Ocean and Starbucks—whenever, I come down to South Florida, I invariably end up thinking about finding a place down here. This time, I saw some options that were attractive for very different reasons. One place was an older building, nice and enticing with a direct ocean view. The view from the apartment was so amazing; it literally made my wife cry. But then we saw another condominium—this one brand new, about 15 minute walk from the ocean, but right over all the shopping, Starbucks, and conveniences. The first place had a million dollar view, but the second place was practical and we could see ourselves really living there.

4) Driving and Jolly–We took a trolley ride and the driver was obviously hard-working, but low paid. Yet he turned up the tunes and took us around town not just driving, but literally singing and sort of dancing to them too–waving his arms and smiling the whole time. It was great to see someone so spirited and happy in whatever they were doing in life.

As I get older, and hopefully wiser, I see more clearly that situations in life are not simple or “black and white,” but there are lots of complexities, choices, and grays.

Do you choose self or family, live where you like or where you can earn a good living, go for the view or for the convenience, bemoan what you don’t have or celebrate what you do? Lots of decisions in life—each choice has consequences, so choose carefully.

No one has it all—even if it looks like they do. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Two Pictures From DC Today

Car Accident

Samples All Gone

These were two photos that I took downtown today.

Both photos represent contrasts of the reality with life in the city.

The first was a car junked-up and sitting on the sidewalk. It was quite out of place in front of the neat rowhouses and otherwise nicely manicured street.

The second was the “free samples” tray of delicious Pumpkin Munchkins at Dunkin’ Donuts with all the samples gone–empty–nothing there.

Perhaps, if we put these together in a storyline then it’s simple…someone wrecked their car, put grafitti all over it in some sort of artistic or social statement, made their way over to DD and in their anxiety ate up all the free munchkins, and left only a short while later to get over to the car dealship to look for a new set of wheels.

That’s a pretty full day even in Washington, D.C. 😉

(Source Photos: Andy Blumenthal)